Media Blog

Recession? What recession?

Kevin, your note about how the press is trying to gin up a recession is trumped this morning by the front page of the Independent, Britain’s smallest, most anti-American daily. “The United States of America 2008: The Great Depression.” Drudge picked it up, so it’ll have its morning of awareness then disappear again into the Indy’s great sea of reported American misery.

How bad is it in the USA? Mean-bad and ugly:

We knew things were bad on Wall Street, but on Main Street it may be worse. Startling official statistics show that as a new economic recession stalks the United States, a record number of Americans will shortly be depending on food stamps just to feed themselves and their families.

The story, by a wide-eyed “David Usborne in New York,” charts the sorrow of people like the guy just out of prison who’s (still) being supported by taxpayers.
I remember one of my best friends in London telling me how pleased he was that the government was not only helping him with his grocery bill and his mortgage, but even sending him checks to help cover the cost of raising his two kids. He was a rock star at the time. In the UK, as in the EU generally, everyone is on the dole, getting benefits of one kind or another that far outstrip a simple American food-stamp program. So I guess the depression’s already gone global.
The current US unemployment rate is below 5 percent, a figure Europeans will never match. Maybe increasing the scope of the US food stamp program wasn’t such a great idea, since it’s most notable achievement so far is to create a depression for David Usborne and his editors.

Denis BoylesDennis Boyles is a writer, editor, former university lecturer, and the author/editor of several books of poetry, travel, history, criticism, and practical advice, including Superior, Nebraska (2008), Design Poetics (1975), ...


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